Severe ME Day of Understanding and Remembrance: Aug. 8, 2017
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has anyone completely lost their ability to feel

Discussion in 'Cognition' started by Aerose91, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. Aerose91

    Aerose91 Senior Member

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    One of the parts of my brain hit the worst is my ability to feel... anything. I don't feel emotions, desire, connection, love, anger, sadness happiness, tiredness, hunger, passion, etc.. All I feel in my brain is this never ending nothingness that just keeps increasing as time goes on.

    I can recall a year or so ago I felt my sexual desire start dwindling one day. It progressed into my ability to feel attraction, connection, lust, love and all those things. It slowly kept decreasing for about a week until it was completely gone. I was doing nothing but laying down.

    As time has gone on and this disease has progressed this part of my brain has regressed considerably. I am in this constant, relentless emptiness and it's absolute torture.
     
  2. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    I think that, not being able to feel and feeling empty, can be a sign of depression.

    I at times shut down emotionally I think as a mental health defence if Im having to much emotional trauma going on around this illness and Im tired and it gets all way too much.

    It happened to me the other day when on phone and I had yet another who wasnt understanding the illness (the person was a counsellor who had been recommended to me, so it was even more horrible she didnt understand severe ME). Instead of becoming upset, I shut emotionally down so I felt "NOTHING".

    Anyway, if you feel like that all the time, consider depression.
     
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  3. adreno

    adreno PR activist

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    Lack of emotion is known as anhedonia. It is usually tied with low dopamine in the mesolimbic tract. Drugs or supplements that increase dopamine transmission are likely to help.
     
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  4. Aerose91

    Aerose91 Senior Member

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    This is far, far beyond that. I can't even feel depression. I cannot feel time, time passage or any connection in space. I had a SPECT scan done and it showed 9 lobes of hypoperfusion. The doctor said he's never seen something that severe but also concluded via SPECT that there was no signs of depression.
     
  5. Aerose91

    Aerose91 Senior Member

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    It's definitely anhedonia but it's way beyond that, too. However I agree that it sounds very tied to the limbic system. When my doctor was going over my 23andme results she thought that I might have very high dopamine because I was COMT +/- for all of them and probably wasn't breaking it down. There's no way of knowing this for sure, though.

    And FWIW they tried me on Prozac for awhile and it did absolutely nothing. My loss of feelings just kept progressing with the rest of the illness.
     
  6. Aerose91

    Aerose91 Senior Member

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    I have a feeling it's connected to nerve problems or inflammation in that part of my brain but I don't know what I can try to address it.
     
  7. Vic

    Vic

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    I was like this a year ago. It really hit me when I was with a really attractive and energetic girl but I couldn't get energetic and aroused myself. I even told her that "I felt dead inside," which she didn't like hearing. It happened again 4-5 months later with another girl I had just met who was super cute and energetic, but I still couldn't match her, though I was better by then.

    There was yet another woman I met in a holistic class. We did an activity where we were supposed to look into each others' eyes for a while, then tell each other what we saw. She said it looked like I was hurting inside. She was right.

    Do you have any pain in your body? I had a lot of low back, groin, buttocks, front hip, and chest/shoulder pain.
     
  8. Aerose91

    Aerose91 Senior Member

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    I feel like I don't even have a soul but I pin that mostly on the dissociation. But I do have pain intermittently. Mostly in my abdomen, legs and head.
     
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  9. Vic

    Vic

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    Is your abdomen pain associated with diarrhea? Where exactly in your legs and head?
     
  10. adreno

    adreno PR activist

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    SSRIs like Prozac would reduce dopamine even more. Bupropion would be more likely to help.
     
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  11. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    One can find out this. I had my dopamine levels tested by a catecholamines test which gave levels for dopamine, norepinephine and epinephine. Im surprised your doctor told you there was no way of testing this.

    Not being able to feel anything to the point one cant feel depression and hence not not one has it, can be sign of it. Feeling soulless.. I have head many on depression websites describe their feeling just like you have here.
     
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  12. Aerose91

    Aerose91 Senior Member

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    @taniaaust1
    I had a horrendous withdrawal from ativan a couple years ago (which is actually what lead me into ME) and have felt horrible, crushing depression. To the point of fear it was so bad. This feels nothing like that and it is also associated with my levels of energy expenditure. Not to mention I got ME from encephalitis so this disease is centered in my brain.

    @Vic
    I can't really associate those two. I had diarrhea in the beginning of this but that has since gotten better. The abdominal pain seems to be sporadic.
     
  13. August59

    August59 Daughters High School Graduation

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    My doctors thought Adderall would make this better, but it only caused more anxiety. Bupropion was actually worse than the Adderall as the bupropion made me feel like I was crawling out of my skin. It's almost like I have very little dopamine and too much norepinepherine.

    My brain is stuck in a monotone mode!
     
  14. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    It sounds more like you are describing dissociation and depersonalization or even a traumatic brain injury vs. depression. When you read about them, does one feel like a better match? Not so much to put a label on it but more as to which avenue to pursue. I am thinking someone with an integrative background in psychiatry and neurology? I know this is hard to find. I am so sorry you are going through this.
     
  15. Martial

    Martial Senior Member

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    This doesn't sound like anehondia as per say depression, from personal experience I feel this is De Personalization to the cue. Pretty much losing a certain sense of being in "reality" and connection with emotion and memory. Like everything feels totally unreal and there is complete disconnect with that part of yourself that is connecting and emotionally available.

    This CAN happen from Depression and Anxeity and often it turns into it from the severe forms of those things. De personalization/ De realization is something different in and of itself though, much more like an egoic defense mechanism to shut down emotions to provide a buffer against too much psychological distress.

    It doesn't have to be related to trauama either sometimes it can self perpetuate by too much introspection, for some reason too it happens with certain infections like Lyme which you can find pages, and pages of people mentioning the same thing, perhaps neuro inflammation that interferes with things?

    Anyways just personal thoughts from my own experiences with trauama related dissociation, and the lyme shit that altered everything even after I healed from the other stuff.
     
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  16. Aerose91

    Aerose91 Senior Member

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    @Gingergrrl @Martial

    Yes I have Depersonalization, extremely severe DP. Like, beyond severe. It hit instantly when the encephalitis did and has seemed to only get worse as the disease has progressed. I know DP causes things like this but I didn't think it could cause things THIS bad. I figured I had a base of DP and the hypoperfusion/Neuro inflammation was adding more on top of it.

    Since I know Lyme can cause DP and I'm starting to move forward with a Lyme protocol I'm hopeful I may see some effect but I'm also talking to a therapist who specialises in dissociation in case it's my brain trying to protect me from the trauma. I just figured since my brain declines with any energy expenditure, and how severe it is that it has to be more than just DP.
     
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  17. adreno

    adreno PR activist

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    @Aerose91

    Depersonalization is likely tied to glutamate hyperactivity, which can be caused by inflammation. High glutamate is very damaging to the brain. Glutamate hyperactivity will also tend to decrease dopamine transmission.

    In your case I would look into NMDA antagonists/modulators, perhaps memantine, NAC, lithium or magnesium threonate. Anything that reduces inflammation in the brain is also likely to help.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
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  18. WillowJ

    WillowJ คภภเє ɠรค๓թєl

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    I felt something like that for some months, early on, just like I was in a fog and to put it in Jane Austen's words: "rather knew that she was happy than felt herself to be so" (or sad or whatever was appropriate). I also was confused and missed a lot of what was going on around me, and I was, I don't know, in shock I guess. It was much different from another time when I felt I was depressed.

    I can have stuff that seems like dissociation from migraine. That's one of the ways I use to tell it was migraine (usually after the fact, as not reasoning well during).
     
  19. August59

    August59 Daughters High School Graduation

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    That makes since as I seem to be experiencing "above normal" inflammaion and maybe mild allergic reaction to something that I haven't figured out what from yet. I have "trialed" memantine and agmatine(?) on seperate occasions and had a positive reaction to both, especially memantine @ 10mg/day.
     
  20. NilaJones

    NilaJones Senior Member

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    This happened to me when I was very sick.

    I was not depressed. In fact, I was mildly happy (and dazed) all the time. Which was a huge barrier to healing, because I was not motivated to use the tiny amount of energy I had to research cures.

    I would be in situations where I knew I should be angry, or sad, or whatever, and I would just feel... nothing.

    What helped me was methylation, mainly.

    If you want to google it, try 'flattened affect'.
     
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